Roger Allam (Les Misérables, The Thick of It) returns to the National for the first time in a decade to play Rutherford in this new production directed by Polly Findlay (Beginning).
In a Northern industrial town, John Rutherford rules both factory and family with an iron will. But even as the furnaces burn relentlessly at the Glassworks, at home his children begin to turn against him.
Githa Sowerby’s astonishing play was inspired by her own experience of growing up in a family-run factory in Gateshead. Writing in 1912, when female voices were seldom heard on British stages, she now claims her place alongside Ibsen and Bernard Shaw with this searing depiction of class, gender and generational warfare.
Heavy price to be paid for speaking truth to papa
Amid this triumph of cruelty, Sowerby introduces a strong feminist strand
Transfixing cast in absorbing family saga
Strongly performed, handsomely designed but occasionally melodramatic revival of Githa Sowerby's remarkable play
Findlay's production provides deeply etched portraits of each character
It's a long, wordy piece, with the heavy three-act structure of its time, but Findlay and the cast make it compelling
Roger Allam is magnificent in Edwardian classic
Atmospheric and powerful revival of Githa Sowerby’s 1912 classic
Never a dull moment, but many a dour one in this splendid revival
Though never actively bad, the show is so uninspiring – and overlong – that it doesn’t paint the theatre in a particularly flattering light
This is one of those productions where the writing, acting, design and direction is as good as you’d expect from a National Theatre